An Audient ASP4816 has become the prime mixing desk in Studio A at North Dakota’s Valley City State University, where Director of Music Education/Technology, John LeTellier has spent the last four and a half years transforming the music education program for the 21st century, which incorporates a comprehensive music technology program.
ASP4816 “makes teaching basic mixing concepts much easier”
A large part of this process has involved him designing, specifying and building the studio from the ground up. “I have created a four-room recording suite and a Recording and Audio Production concentration with all of the supporting curriculum,” he says.
When it came to choosing the desk, John’s long discussions with Sweetwater rep, Derek Senstraro, “who is fantastic” and internet searches to find out about the compact British console have definitely paid off. He explains, “The two things that I appreciate most about this board, are: 1) it makes teaching basic mixing concepts much easier and 2) I can count on consistent, professional-grade sound. In the past, you generally had to spend well over $50,000 to get the type of sound this board has.”
“I can count on consistent, professional-grade sound”
For John it’s about more than just the excellent value for money, however. “I love that everything is so easily accessible and ‘instant’. I have everything routed to and from my interface and don’t have to spend any time with set-up for mixes/recording. I can turn the board on, start a new ProTools session, or open one that I am working on and instantly get to work,” he says.
“I also like the ability to quickly twist knobs and get a great sound so fast – it cuts down on mix time tremendously when you have such a high-quality EQ for each channel and superb routing capabilities. Digital boards and plugins are great, but there is something to be said about the immediacy of analogue – having controls for everything on each channel.
“I love that everything is so easily accessible and ‘instant’”
“Even the buss compressor is great. Instead of worrying about an outboard compressor or plugin, I just engage the compressor and within 10 seconds I have a good buss sound. Then there are the preamps…wow they are fantastic!”
Students are equally thrilled to work in the newly equipped studio. Darius Gilbert, Recording Production Concentration Major says, “It is super helpful and exciting to work on equipment that is used in actual professional settings.” Music Education student, Johnny Van Peursem adds, “Physical controls are super helpful when learning about how the technology works with recordings.”
Studio A is where all the audio classes take place and comprises a mix of analogue and digital equipment, ensuring students get a fully rounded learning experience. “We have the Audient ASP4816 for the analogue side, along with outboard gear such as TC M3000 and Lexicon PCM 81 reverbs, Klark Teknik Compressors and EQ’s and 16 channels of Drawmer 441 compression to match the 16 channels of the Audient board. On the digital/controller side, we have an Avid S3 console with dock sitting right next to the Audient.”
“the preamps…wow they are fantastic!”
Indeed, John has even bigger plans for the department, including plans for a state-of-the-art recording suite and a music tech lab in the new $32million Fine Arts Facility which is due to be completed in two years. “We will also be looking at increasing our course offerings in music industry/audio production. It is an exciting time to be a Viking in the music program at VCSU!”
Audient wishes you all the very best of luck and looks forward to being an even bigger part of the future of Valley City State University’s transformation.